Under the Big Tree

My girlfriend and I had a great night out, we had seen a live show, had a great dinner and watched the sun go down on the beach. It was 1983 and my girlfriend and I had just moved in together in a small two bedroom flat in St Kilda, Melbourne. This night out was to celebrate our moving in together.

Walking home we had to walk down Robe St, street lights were on, but it was still dark and a Saturday night, drunk people and people on drugs were everywhere. It was around 11pm and we were almost home but out of nowhere a bunch of guys around 18-20 years old turned the corner and was walking our way. My girlfriend grabbed my hand a little tighter, we could see they were clearly intoxicated and aggrivated. We crossed the road and walked faster to try and get to our destination. One of the men ran over to us and asked if I had a spare cigarette, I didn’t want trouble so I gave him a cigarette, he thanks me and we kept walking. Out of nowhere, my head felt like it had exploded, I was aware I was on the ground and could faintly hear my girlfriend screaming, then it was just a blur and then complete darkness.

I won’t go into the itty gritty details of what happened that night as they are far from pleasant.

I vaguley remember being picked up on a trolly and being put in an ambulance. Before I blacked out again, I heard one of the paramedics yell out “We’re losing him”. Then I was in complete darkness once again. However, the darkness did not last long, I “woke” up, I was hovering above my body in the ambulance, I knew it was my body but I felt nothing for it, I floated out of the ambulance and stood on St Kilda Rd, under a big tree. I could hear the birds singing clearly, I felt light, I felt good. As I was standing under the tree a man walked over to me, I recognised him instantly, it was my father who had been dead for 20 years! I was so happy to see him and the urge to follow him was incredible.

He told me it wasn’t my time yet and I had to go back – I had a lot to live for. He told me, my girlfriend and I were going to get married and have five children, 3 girls and 2 boys. In an instance I was back in my own body, concious again and struggling for life, but I knew I was going to alright.

Despite having broken ribs, a cracked skull and lacarations to my face, hands and feet and stab wounds to my abdomen and back, I lived. And over the past 20 something years, my girlfriend and I indeed get married and had five children – 3 girls and 2 boys. What my father had told me was completely true. This was no halluciation, it was real.


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